When notorious underworld leader Carlo Franconi is gunned down, his Mafioso competitors become prime suspects. Suspicions are fuelled when Franconi’s body disappears from the city morgue before it can be autopsied- much to the embarrassment of the authorities, but to the amusement of forensic pathologist Jack Stapleton. A few days later, the mutilated, unidentifiable body of a ‘floater’ arrives on the autopsy table and Jack himself becomes disturbed by the case. While unidentified bodies routinely make their way to medical examiner’s office, what arouses Jack’s curiosity is not so much that the body is missing its head, hands and feet – but also its liver. Aided by his colleague Dr Laurie Montgomery, he identifies the corpse as the missing mobster. But who actually killed Carlo Franconi? And was the killer also responsible for the theft of the corpse and its grisly disfigurement? Their search for the truth leads them to the steamy jungle of equatorial Africa, where they discover a sinister cabal whose activities include surgical procedures a step beyond the latest in current technology- and a leap beyond the accepted medical ethics.
“When I toured that island way back before all this started,” Kevin said, “I remember seeing some caves in that limestone cliff. What I’m thinking is that our creations are going into the caves, maybe even living in them. It’s the only way I can think of to explain why the grid would fail to pick them up.” Melanie brought up a hand to cover her mouth. Her eyes reflected a flicker of horror and dismay. Candace saw Melanie’s reaction. “Hey, come on, guys,” she pleaded. “What’s wrong? What are you thinking?” Melanie lowered her hand. Her eyes were locked on Kevin’s. “What Kevin was referring to when he said he was terrified he’d overstepped the bounds,” she explained in a slow, deliberate voice,” was the fear that he’d created a human.”
This is one of Robin cook's best work in...